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. >> president barack obama and governor mitt romney preparing to face off in their first presidential debate. >> and here in denver, the candidates know what happens on this debate stage certainly could help sway the election. >> a president struggling with a slow economy, hoping to boost confidence in his leadership. >> i'm not fighting to create democratic and republican jobs, i'm fighting to create american jobs. >> a challenger fighting in the poll es trying to connect with average americans. after months of attacks on the campaign trial, it's time for these candidates to confront each other face to face. >> we will win this election, we will finish what we started! >> i will do better than this president has done for the american people! >> in colorado tonight, barack obama and mitt romney in their first presidential date. >> these debates are an opportunity for each of us to describe the pathway forward. >> what i'm most concerned about is having a serious discussion about what we need to do to keep the country growing. >> two men with different vision on issues voters care about most.
room." >>> happening now, just two days before the first obama/romney debate and our new cnn national poll shows the president's lost, lost his post-convention bounce. but there's a different story in the battleground states. >>> mitt romney could make a huge impact on the supreme court. how he could change the direction of the court for decades. >>> they make $10 a day to put their lives on the line. but they could lose their job ifs they don't lose some weight. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." >>> we're now just 36 days from the presidential election and nationally our brand-new cnn/orc poll of likely voters shows the race between president obama and governor romney remaining up for grabs. the president leads 50% to 47%. but his three-point margin is within the poll's sampling error. our chief national correspondent john king is in denver getting ready for the debate over there. that's the site of the debate. john, take us into these numbers. what are you seeing? >> reporter: well, wolf, i can tell you this, talking to senior officials in the romney campaign, they b
. on the other side, the liberal who says the debates are make or break for mitt romney. >>> also, marie osmond. what it would mean to her to see a mormon president. >> there's a lot of strange things said about, you know, our faith. >> marie osmond on her faith and family. >>> and my exclusive with european ryder cup winners, ian poulter and justin rose. a sporting moment so extraordinary even the men in the middle of it can't quite believe it happened. >> it really was one of the most remarkable comebacks i can think in any kind of sport. >> this is "piers morgan tonight." >>> good evening. our big story tonight, neck and neck with 36 days to go until the election, the latest cnn/orc poll has president obama at 50% and mitt romney at 47%, within the margin of error. the thing both sides are counting on to change it, wednesday's debate. president obama is in nevada for two days of practice sessions with david axelrod and david plouff. mitt romney is counting on his secret weapon, ann, out on the trail. >> this country is ready for a turnaround. this country is ready -- this country is ready fo
doing just that while her husband, mitt romney, has been doing debate preparations just a short distance away in denver. it will be fascinating, wolf, to watch the body language between mitt romney and president obama tomorrow night when they meet face-to-face as the obama campaign revealed to cnn, the two men have only met a few times in the past. flash back to 2008 and there they are. then-senator barack obama and mitt romney sharing a few moments on stage after back-to-back democratic and republican presidential debates in new hampshire. they also ran into each other at a labor day parade in 2007. a campaign source cataloging the meetings tells cnn these are just two of the three times the candidates have ever seen each other in person. flash forward to 2012 one day before the debate. romney briefly stopped for lunch grabbing bued burritos at chipo >> people want to know who's going to win. who's going to score the punches? >> reporter: at a pre-debate rally in denver, romney seemed to down play reports that his campaign has prepped him with zingers to go after the president. >> it's
now, we're counting down to tonight's presidential debate. mitt romney's motorcade just pulled up at the debate hall. president obama's expected to arrive in denver any minute as well. we'll be talking with top supporters of each candidate. the former new york city mayor rudy giuliani, he'll join us live this hour. also we'll be hearing from both candidates' wives in special cnn interviews. today, by the way, is the obama's 20th wedding anniversary. so what's it like spending the night with the romneys? i'm wolf blitzer, you're in "the situation room." >>> 34 days from the presidential election but much more importantly right now at least right now we've reached what may be the most decisive night of the 2012 campaign, the first presidential debate at the university of denver. after weeks of downplaying expectations, mitt romney's campaign insiders are finally opening up about what they really think can be accomplished tonight. cnn's national political correspondent jim acosta is in denver getting ready to set the scene. jim. >> reporter: wolf, the romney campaign sees the polls m
expectations and raise the bar for mitt romney heading into wednesday's debate, john. >> a rare moment of honesty, refreshing in a political campaign. what then are the strategies of both campaigns heading into this debate? >> well, president obama has been in nevada a few days during the campaign. mitt romney in massachusetts sparring with rob portman who's playing the role of president obama in these debate prep sessions. for president obama his foe mitt romney, massachusetts senator john kerry. they've been working on this debate for months and months. an interesting story over the weekend, a passage about what mitt romney's been doing. this from the "new york times." it says, "mr. romney's team has concluded that debates are about creating moments and has equipped him with a series of zingers he has memorizened and has been tracksing on aides since august." now, they're right debates are about moments but ain an amusin image. mitt romney sitting in a room peppering them with zingers. i would like to be on the wall hearing that. >> not about zingers, serious substantive policy. and
's practice sessions. ohio senator rob portman is portraying the president in mitt romney's debate preps. >>> general motors is recalling more than 40,000 cars. it is concerned about fuel pump modules that could crack and cause a fire. the recall affects the 2007 to 2009 chevrolet cobalt and pontiac g5. gm will replace the fuel part for free. >>> yes, it is over officially. regular nfl refs will be back on the field tomorrow. the refs union formally ratify add new contract today. the nfl agreed to a deal with the union earlier this week which allowed those refs to return on thursday to a standing "o." critics said the performance of the replacement refs hurt the integrity of the game. >>> and winds ripping through the japanese island of okinawa is all from typhoon jelawat. at least 50 people suffered injuries while more than 270,000 homes have no power. the storm is expected to weaken as it moves north through cooler waters. >>> here's what else we're talking about tonight. a mentally disabled woman beaten, 16 girls now in jail saying they did it just for fun. >>> spanking your children,
in tomorrow's debate, mitt romney or president obama. could the unemployment rate be the october surprise that shakes things up in the election? and imagine flying the plane and your seat comes loose. it happened twice. we'll get right to it. we're 32 hours away from the first presidential debate. president obama and mitt romney taking the stage at the university of denver in colorado. a live picture. this inside that will. where the two men will face off for the first time. lost at stake for both candidates. according to our latest poll which is an average of five national polls it is tight race among likely voters the president has 49%, mitt romney at 46%. now both men in past moments wished they could have a do over. we recall a heated exchange between hillary clinton and president obama back in 2008's debate in south carolina. >> while i was working on those streets watching those folks see their jobs shipped overseas you were a corporate lawyer sitting on the board of walmart. i was fighting these fights. i was fighting these fights. knives fighting against those ideas when you were
was in the primaries, we expect mitt romney to be a prepared, disciplined, and aggressive debater. joining me now is someone who knows a thing or two about expectations and debates, republican senator john mccain. a little trip down memory lane there. you smiled during it, i thought that was interesting. you debated both. size up the debate. >> i think it will be excellent. i think both candidates are well prepared, and understandably, you'll see their sur gats lowering expectations. i don't know how our guy will compete, and that's part of the whole routine. >> who is the tougher debater? >> i think both are excellent in their own way. i think you could argue that mitt has had a lot more recent experience, obviously, but also, candy, part of it depends on who is moderating. >> oh, thanks. >> i don't want to put any pressure on you, but the tenor of the questions and all that are dictated. second of all, i think sometimes we expect a major breakthrough, you know, a comment. that doesn't happen very often. it happened with reagan and mondale. it happened with reagan and carter, but frankly, i can'
as underdogs so we're coming into this debate very realistic that mitt romney is likely to win, if he plays his cards right. if he performs and fills in those details and has that conversation with the american people instead of having, you know, a punching match and just leveling insults at the president like he's done over the past two years, if he fills in his policy details, talks in specifics about his plans for the future, he could win this debate. but you know what, the president is treating these debates the same way we treated the conventions. that it's not about just that night. it's about an ongoing conversation with the american people. it's not just about the people in the room or the people, no offense to cnn, in the cnn booth. it's about the people sitting at home and the type of conversation that we want to have with them over time. it's a continuation of that conversation about where the president wants to take this country and his specific plans to move us forward. >> talking of conversations, he chose to appear on "the view" in the last week rather than talk to world leaders
. coming out of that first debate we were tied with george bush. so there is an opportunity for mitt romney if he takes advantage of it next wednesday night, to turn the momentum around. he not only has to win this debate but has to change the dynamics in this race. we know he's going to show up prepared, disciplined and aggressive, even tim pawlenty said that he's as good as it gets when it comes to debating. but the question is whether or not he's going to be able to talk to the american people specifically about what his plans are for this country. that's been a huge deficit for him over the course of this campaign. no specifics, no details. so i think that is part of the burden he carries next wednesday night. >> i suppose one of the problems for you is that barack obama is in the strange position of being the quite clear favorite. i don't think many incumbent presidents have that going into debates but people say i saw a poll this morning, he's up nearly 60% of americans believe obama will win the debates. that's always a rather precarious place to go into a debate, isn't it, as the cl
ay for the presidential debate. obama and romney are getting as far away from each other as they can as they prepare to meet face-to-face. we'll explain. >>> whitney went from being joke to high school hero. >> when she found out she was a joke she turned her disappointment into inspiration. here's chris welch with her story. all right, we're having a tape issue. we'll have that a quick break. >> you're going to want to watch. [ man ] when i'm in my zone... every move i make is a statement... ♪ ...that inspires me to make my mark. ♪ [ male announcer ] the all-new lexus es 350. ♪ the economy needs manufacturing. machines, tools, people making stuff. companies have to invest in making things. infrastructure, construction, production. we need it now more than ever. chevron's putting more than $8 billion dollars back in the u.s. economy this year. in pipes, cement, steel, jobs, energy. we need to get the wheels turning. i'm p. making real things... for real. ...that make a real difference. ♪ with less chronic osteoarthritis pain. imagine living your life with less chronic low bac
at this week's debate. >> mitt romney has prepared more than any other candidate in history. >> president obama is a very gifted speaker. the man has been on the national stage for many years. he's an experienced debater. he's done these kinds of debates before. this is mitt's first time on this kind of stage. >> beth myers said president obama is widely regarded as one of the most talented political communicators in modern history. the obama camp likes to remind voters that the president hasn't had as much time to prepare for the debates because he's busy being commander in chief. when it comes to just how much debates matter, it depends. >> most often debates don't make that big a difference. very few candidates ever win an election with a debate, but quite a few have lost an election with a debate. so it can matter. >> these match-ups can produce some memorable lines. like in 1980 between then-governor ronald reagan and president jimmy carter. >> there you go again. >> and lord benson's candidate in 1908. >> i knew jack kennedy. jack kennedy was a friend of mine. senator, you're no jack kenn
'll be on the road through wednesday's presidential debate. >>> mitt romney is keeping a low profile this weekend. he went to church outside boston. he had no public events yesterday or today. he heads to colorado tomorrow where he'll hold a rally and continue his preparations for wednesday's showdown debate in denver. >>> meantime republican party officials cut ties with the consulting firm that florida election officials say turned in suspicious voter application forms. cnn's david mattingly has been investigating. what have you learned? >> this is florida. it's always close there. hugely important to both sides. we know it's going to be close this time. any time the topic of voter registration fraud comes up, it's going to get a lot of attention. strategic allied consulting was hired to register people to vote. that sounds pretty denine, like it wouldn't be a big problem. here is what happened. that company was fired last week by the republican national committee after one of the employees of that company, just one, may have provided false signatures on some of the documents that he was filling ou
and we heard the romney campaign starting to manage some expectations for the upcoming debate. earlier in the week i had a chance to talk with senior romney adviser about all this. he compared the president tho cy young to the baseball pitcher who is the standard for all pitchers across the major leagues. and you really don't set expectations any higher than your opponent than comparing your opponent to cy young. >> thanks very much. jim acosta traveling with mitt romney. president obama is trying to gain support what has traditionally been republican territory. what are you seeing? >> reporter: as you know, election day may be weeks away, but in virginia, ab sen tea voting is already under way and that is why you saw president obama and mitt romney treading on each other's turf this week. president obama heading to virginia beach as he tries to keep virginia out of reach for romney. >> reporter: in virginia beach, president obama tailored his latest attack on mitt romney to the military voters here as he hit his opponent for his recent comments that 37% of americans who don't pay inco
week is the looming showdown between president obama and mitt romney. a debate happening that takes place wednesday night. president obama is using john kerry as his practice partner. the massachusetts senator is portraiting the former massachusetts governor who is mitt romney, and romney is using ron portman as his obama. paul steinhauser has more on their practice sessions. >> reporter: good morning, gary. you know, it's pretty obvious. one will definitely dominate this week in the race for the white hoe. >> i'm looking forward to the debates. >> reporter: and the first of the three showdowns comes wednesday night when president obama and republican nominee mitt romney face off in denver. both candidates have a lot on the line, especially the gop challenger, who a few days ago gave some insight into his debate preps. >> it's great to have senator rob portman. you know, he debates me from time to time. he is playing barack obama in these mock debates we have. i don't like him very much anymore, all right? he keeps on beating me up and i keep on going away shaking my head. >> report
tuesday. a lot of his back woeers would disagree but mitt romney is out there saying tomorrow's big debate isn't about winning. polls show romney in a close race with the president, but trailing badly in some of the swing states that will decide the presidential election. well, here is mitt romney, we have heard these words before, sounds as though he's downplaying expectations as they say. take a listen. >> people want to know who is going to win, who is going to score the punches and who is going to make the biggest difference in the arguments they make and there is going to be all the scoring of winning and losing. >> so romney is saying, no, it is not about winning, not about losing, it is about america. but you have a lot of republicans, newt gingrich, for example, saying, hey, mitt romney, get out there, pick a fight, and win it. jim acosta with me now from the romney campaign. the debate, of course, tomorrow night in denver, you, sir, are in littleton, colorado. should we take mitt romney at face value when he says this debate is not about me winning? >> reporter: well, brooke, i th
romney are talking about their role in the debates. first lady says she mostly offers positive reinforcement but does get nervous. >> i get so nervous at these debates and, you know, i'm like one of those parents watching their kid on the balance beam. you're just standing there, just trying not to, you know, have any expression at all. >> ann romney says she comforts her husband during the debates and he looks for her in the audience. she talked up one of mitt's traditions, too. >> the first thing he does when he gets on stage -- there are a few first things he does. he takes off his watch and put it is on the podium. but then he writes dad on a piece of paper. >> says her husband respects had his father and wants to make him proud. tonight's debate begins at 7:00 pm eastern. >>> our affiliate knov says flight 1862 left for dallas yesterday but had to return because of landing gear problems. passengers say people were crying when the flight crew told passengers to prepare for an emergency landing. >> they said the landing gear -- okay, the wheel might like break or, you know,
will be discussed. and obama and romney face off again in hempstead, new york. and the final debate will be strictly on foreign policy. that's october 22nd in florida. bob schieffer of cbs is the moderator. be sure to catch this first debate life here on cnn. >>> 37 days from election day and new allegations of voter registration fraud, the complaints center around registration drives in florida, nevada, north carolina and colorado. they were performed by a consulting political consulting company hired by the republican national committee called strategic allied consulting. in colorado, a woman who may have worked for the company was videotaped trying to register only mitt romney supporters, take a look. >> yeah, hi. >> do you volt for romneyor obama? >> i thought you were registering voters a minute ago. >> i am. >> and who are you registering? >> all voters. >> i'm actually trying to register people for a particular party because we're out here in support of romney actually. >> and who's paying you for this? >> let me see, we're working for the county clerk's office. >> you cannot come out here an
favorite political analysts on whether romney can recover at this week's presidential debate. >>> what happened? the u.s. team falls apart and the europeans take the ryder cup back home. >> and is there life out there? nasa says a river really did run through it. more evidence there may have been life on mars. >>> good evening, everyone. you are in the "cnn newsroom." let's get you up to speed. the presidential candidates are headed west. president obama is in nevada tonight holding a rally at desert pines high school. let's take a moment and listen in. >> i will use the money we are no longer spending on war to do nation building here at home, rebuilding roads and bridges and putting americans back to work and that's part of what makes america strong. that's what we're going to do. so this is the choice we face in the election, and this is what the election comes down to, and i know you must be tired of hearing ads, but you will hear moreover the next six weeks, and over and over again, you will hear my opponents talking about how bigger tax cuts and fewer regulations and that's the w
and mitt romney. here is a live look at debate hall at university of denver. we'll again with our debate expert, brett o'donnell of o'donnell and associates, he advised mr. romney earlier this year, coached him in what was considered to be his most successful debate in the premarry in the state of florida. >> wouldn't it be nice if people didn't make accusations somewhere else they weren't willing to defend here? >> nice to see you again. not to have you next to us in the studio but great to see you. >> good to see you. >> let's walk through what we can expect tonight. i know you're not coaching either candidate. what would your advice be? mitt romney must do what and not do what? president obama must do what and not do what? >> sure. governor romney has to make the debate about the president's economic policies and he has to connect those to the economic conditions we're in now. right now, people believe the economy is bad, but they're not blaming the president for it. tonight governor romney, standing face-to-face with president obam has to connect those two things. he can't get defens
, a lot of republicans are talking of the upcoming debates and romney's best chance to turn things around. this is newt gingrich. >> i think it depends almost entirely on mitt personally. i debated him and most of them i did pretty well. the last two down to life and death and we were in florida and he was in danger of losing the nomination, he came in fired up decisive prepared, aggressive, energetic and to be honest i think he beat me both times. if he would be as direct as assertive, as firm with barack obama as he was with me in florida he'll win the debate going away and within three days the polls will change dramatically because he'll ha the case we cannot afford four more years of barack obama. >> so that first debate is next wednesday in denver and did you know that early voting has for the first time today voting in a swing state, iowa. guess who's there john king. iowa city, iowa. john, are you seeing many early voters where you are? >> reporter: we have seen quite a few of them brooke. we had a camera here in iowa city and des moines earlier today. i
on the eve of the debate. >> if i worked for mitt romney i would instruct him to bring it up. >> you would. >> bring it up to knock it down. to disavow it. in other words, romney, he had a really wonderful opportunity, remember when rush limbaugh said those hateful things about sandra fluke, that georgetown law student, he had a great opportunity to smack down the fanatical fringe. he didn't do it. it was a missed opportunity. doesn't mean romney agrees with the crazy things limbaugh said but he missed an opportunity to assert himself against the fringe and this is an opportunity for romney, if he's got any sense and he's a terribly bright guy, a very decent guy, but he's a bit of a coward where the right wing is concerned. i do hope, it would help romney, but he should stand up in that debate and raise it himself and disavow attacks from five years ago on the president that seem to me to be driven perhaps by race rather than economics. >> we'll see if more does come out in the next half hour or so. again, we'll continue it. gloria borger, paul begala, boyce watkins, eric erickson, thank y
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in for the president in romney's debate preps, the silver haired guy in the pink shirt is ohio senator rob portman. and, in fact, portman has really become the go-to guy for republican candidates who need a sparg partner. he's really good at this. but here's the thing, he's never really talked publicly about his role, the preparation and how his debate preps have gone. until now. because i have one of the best colleagues in the business, dana bash, she got the inside story. it is fascinating. one of the things i can't believe you're able to unearth is this anecdote about the 2008 campaign preps between mccain and obama. did rob portman -- is this true, did he get cyndi mccain to cry? >> he did. i don't think that was his intention, i know it wasn't, but he did. and the reason is because they were in debate prep, he was playing barack obama, and he was apparently so believable in his role as barack obama and more importantly so tough, hard hitting against his sparring partner, john mccain, that cindy mccain got very upset and ran crying out of the room. i talked to rob portman about that, he told me tha
the president in mitt romney's debate. more on the preview of wednesday's big event. >> as running mate paul ryan makes the rounds on the campaign trail here in new hampshire, and ohio, guess what? his boss is hunkering down, getting ready for the first showdown between him and president obama. romney is spending a lot of time this week to prepare for the debate. the same thing for the president. he is off the campaign trail, today, tomorrow, off to nevada. but basically he is spending a lot of this week, we believe, behind closed doors getting ready. meanwhile, both are trying to lower the bar for the candidates. even the candidates themselves are doingñr it. take a listen to mitt romney, recently on the campaign trail. >> i mean, he is president of the united states, a very good speaker. >> now, he is a very good speaker, i am sure in the debates, as last time with senator john mccain he will be very eloquent. >> reporter: and it is not only mitt romney playing that game, so is the obama campaign. >> what history tells us, the challenger wins the first debate just due to the fact they are
to debate night. just hours before barack obama and mitt romney's first head-to-head primetime face-off. >>> oh,man. disaster, but it's not accident. crash cameras show you what it could be like upon a doomed jet liner. >>> and a florida woman's close encounter with a protected mammal. you know this could land her in jail? >> that's a costly picture right there. >> oh, my goodness. good morning to you. thank you for being with us. welcome to "early start." i'm zoraida sambolin. >> i'm john berman. it is 5:00 a.m. in the east. the big story this morning, it is go time. in just 16 hours all eyes will be on denver for the first presidential debate. president obama will be making his case for four more years and mitt romney trying to convince the country he is the better man for the job. now, right now it looks like voters need convincing on both sides because in a brand new cnn poll of polls it shows a very close race. the president maintaining a razor-thin three-point lead with a month to go at this point. our cnn political director mark preston is live from denver right in the middle
and mitt romney, candidates going face-to-face for the first time. the debate will focus on domestic policy only. half the time it's going to be dedicated to the economy. there's also going to be a segment on health care, and one on governing leadership and style. joining us from washington to talk about it, democratic strategist donna rizell and anna navarro. both cnn contributeors. this is exciting. i think this is what we all kind of live for when you are into politics. clearly, they're going to be lots of other people who are really just tuning in here treeing to figure out which one they like better. one of the questions that we know is going to be front and center each candidate, whether or not the voters actually trust them in handling the economy. mitt romney says he is going to create 12 million new jobs. is he going to cut income tax rates by 20% to make up the difference by eliminating deductions in credit. is he going to get into some of these details here about how this is all going to shake out? anna, start with you. >> you know, suzanne, i don't know how much time is loued in
's going to put the most points on the board. >> you are! >> no, no. governor romney, he's a good debater. i'm just okay. >> the president will be spending a couple of days out in nevada preparing for the big debates. john kerry, by the way, will be playing the role of mitt romney. he's someone who has a lot of experience debating but also knows mitt romney very well as he comes from massachusetts. now, the big issue, though, is who will both of these candidates be able to sway in the debate? as we know, most americans have made up their minds. we're talking about a small slice of those undecided voters who are watching, waiting to find out exactly who will win. >> okay. let's talk about the republican side with paul steinhauser. word on the street, paul, is that mitt romney has been practicing zingers since august. >> yeah. that's the word on the street. the romney campaign won't go there, carol. all they're going to say is, guess what? he's spending a lot of time getting ready. you're right. i don't have any sound fm mitt romney like dan had from the president. why? he hasn't done an ev
. >>> mitt romney and president obama face off if their first debate tonight. two experts weigh in coming up. >>> let's dig deeper now, president obama and mitt romney take the stage tomorrow night, how they look, what they say during the debate could speak volumes over what they actually say. their body language speaks volumes. we have an associate professor at harvard business school. she joins me now. you say when it comes to gestures, ones that convey power and warmth are really important to making effective politician, and you point to former president bill clinton as master of warmth. i want to show a video of him during a town hall with ross per roet and then president bush back in 2002. >> you know people who lost their homes and lost their homes? >> uh-huh. >> he's walking toward this woman, toward this voter, away from the people on stage. so he's focused on the voter, not on the other candidates. he's gentle, his body language is gentle. he's leaning toward her, he's even softened his voice. he's nodding, makes incredible eye contact. he signals to people when he is talking to the
and counting until the presidential debate tonight. mitt romney, he is gaining in two swing states. could this be romney's springboard? romney has whittled the president's lead, take a look. he's whittled the president's lead in the two percentage points in virginia. this is according to a poll released today by marist college, the wall street journal and also nbc news. two-point lead for obama, that's down five points last month. keep in mind we're talking virginia, that's 13 electoral votes there. and check it out, similar story for you in florida. 29 electoral votes there. now, a one-point, one-point lead for obama, down from four points in september. we should mention here that poll shows the president still with the seven-point lead in ohio. we can't forget about ohio. but speaking nationwide here, the president's lead, in our cnn poll of polls, you can see it here, stands at 3 percentage points, unchanged. as we noticed today, kind of interesting, the president has gained one point and romney dropped one point. this is the gallup national tracking poll. obama with a six-point lead t
changer. listen to romney tell supporters in denver, this debate is not a competition. >> the people want to know who is going to win, who is going to score the punches and who is going to make the biggest difference in the arguments they make? there's going to be the scoring of winning and losing. you know, in my view it's not so much winning and losing or even the people themselves, the president and myself. it's about something bigger than that. >> state and political editor paul steinhauser is actually in the house with us this morning. all week long, last week we were talking about lower expectations. is this just that? >> you heard that from mitt romney. it's how you play the game. right. let's be honest. you heard the same thing from president obama sunday night at his rally in colorado. i think it also matters who wins or loses. both candidates in their final debate prep. mitt romney had the rally in colorado last night. he's hunkering down with the senator playing obama. you won't see much of mitt romney until wednesday night. same thing for the president. he's in nevada. he'll f
leap, debate opponents in a single bound. >> we know that governor romney's been practicing for months. i think the invasion of normandy took less preparation than he's putting into these debates. >> he's articulate, smart. he did a great job in 2008 during that campaign as a debater. he had some tough debates with hillary clinton and he performed well. >> well, that was rob portman, of course, who has been prepping governor romney. before that, senior obama campaign advisor david axelrod. each has been working as though the entire campaign depends on what happens in next week's debate. the question is will it? we will talk about that in a moment. first, one indisputable truth, debates can make history. >> i have been -- >> september 26, 1960. the first televised presidential debate, signaling a new era where appearances matter more than ever and gaffes, however small, are magnified. >> the goals are the same for all americans. >> john f. kennedy, a young senator from massachusetts, facing off against vice president richard nixon, who is known to be a fierce debater. but on screen, ken
the debate and of course, the election. both president obama and governor romney are seasoned debaters, and experts say neither are prone to making major gaffes. but if there is one thing that history has taught us, when it comes to presidential debates, expect the unexpected. joining us now to talk about the moments and debate magic yet to come, republican consultant romney 2008 campaign advisor, alex castellanos and donna brazile. a lot of folks are saying these debates are do or die for romney. donna, do you agree? >> absolutely. first impression is very, very important. mitt romney had several opportunities to change the trajectory of the campaign, his selection of a running mate, paul ryan, got a small bounce. the convention speech didn't get any bounce, and now the first debate. this is like the first night on broadway. there will be more voters tuning in, they will be looking at his performance and if he comes across as somebody who is credible, who is up to the task, he might get another bounce out of it. >> aren't undecided voters the least likely to tune into the debates? gal
until the first presidential debate, president obama and mitt romney will have the chance to press one another to answer questions that they themselves have been reluctant to answer. we'll run through some big ones, keeping them honest tonight. first, we've got some late polling. new cnn/orc numbers that show the race tightening. president obama still leads among likely voters 50% to 47% but that three-point gap is within the poll's margin of error. by comparison, just after the conventions, mr. obama got a four-point bounce to put him in the lead by six. the president's favorable rating meantime remains above the crucial 50% mark at 52%. mr. romney is close but still in negative territory at 49%. he enjoys an edge on handling the deficit and joblessness, but trails on virtually every other big issue, including medicare, taxes and foreign policy. keeping them honest, when it comes to some of those issues, both candidates have come up short either on specifics or credibility. issues like cutting taxes without ballooning the deficit or burdening the middle class. the romney campaign has
romney square off in denver for the first of three critical debates. president's being prepped in nevada today. and the gop challenger has some ground to make up because a brand-new "washington post"/abc news poll this morning has the president leading by two percentage points among likely voters. it's not unusual for candidates to try to lower expectations in the days leading up to dedebate. republicans have been playing up the president's eloquence, ever since last week. but it seems somebody forgot to tell new jersey governor chris christie, because he was setting the bar high for mr. romney. listen. >> he's going to come in wednesday night, lay out his vision for america, he's going to contrast what his view is with what the president's record is, the president's view for the future and this whole race is going to be turned upside down come thursday morning. >> upside down is what he says. in just a few minutes we're going to be talking about wednesday night's debate and the president's preparations with brad woodhouse, communications director for the democratic national committee. f
and mitt romney prepping heavily for the first debate 24 hours away. how high are the stakes? who has the edge? what are each candidate's weak spots? we'll look at that next in the program. blood flow. cialis for daily use helps you be ready anytime the moment's right. you can be more confident in your ability to be ready. and the same cialis is the only daily ed tablet approved to treat ed and symptoms of bph, like needing to go frequently or urgently. tell your doctor about all your medical conditions and medications, and ask if your heart is healthy enough for sexual activity. do not take cialis if you take nitrates for chest pain, as this may cause an unsafe drop in blood pressure. do not drink alcohol in excess with cialis. side effects may include headache, upset stomach, delayed backache or muscle ache. to avoid long-term injury, seek immediate medical help for an erection lasting more than four hours. if you have any sudden decrease or loss in hearing or vision, or if you have any allergic reactions such as rash, hives, swelling of the lips, tongue or throat, or difficulty bre
lane. in the romney debate senator ted kennedy back in 1994. yeah, you're right. we've seen some reporting on this that, you know, mitt romney is doing a lot of preparation on this for this debate. maybe focussing on zingers and one-liners, and also the campaign says what mitt romney really wants to do on wednesday night where the two candidates showed down and show that choice between what mitt romney would do in the white house over the next four years or what president obama would do if re-elected. >> poeshltyly. nine out of the ten key battleground states. now romney has actually -- he has debated almost 20 times in the primary season. how does he actually change people's impression of him? particularly his likability factor. >> and we've seen that he has a little bit of a deficit, yovrl, when it comes to likability, when it comes to his favorable and unfavorable numbers compared to the president in a lot of these polls. yeah, i think part of -- a little bit of what he is going to try to do is show more of the human face, and we've seen him try to do that on the campaign trai
or are in between. lot more people have to get to know governor romney so it's a more important debate. i think he has to be presidential. i think he has to convey the kind of person that people would be comfortable with as president. i tend to think we kind of score this as if it's a boxing match or basketball game. >> you know what it's like to debate mitt romney. i don't want to rehash any old wounds but i do want to play just some of the thing you guys got into and ask what he's like as a debater. >> governor romney, was new york a sanctuary city? >> absolutely. called itself a sanctuary city. as a matter of fact, when the welfare reform act that president clinton brought forward said they were going to end the sanctuary policy of new york city, the mayor actually brought a suit to maintain its sanctuary city status. >> it's unfortunate, but mitt generally criticizes people in a situation in which he's had far the worst record. for example, in his case, there were six sanctuary cities. he did nothing about them. there was even a sanctuary mansion at his own home, illegal immigrants were being
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